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The Hippy household is full to the brim with furry, 4-legged family members. When The Boyfriend and I moved in together a year ago, our family grew to FIVE pets. Yes. That's right. Between the two of us, we have 3 cats and 2 dogs! It's most certainly a circus in our home, but we love every one of them with the same fervor as we love each other. With two very different dogs (his Sheltie, Abbey, and my Pit-mix, Sirius), I am always looking for more natural ways to take care of my dog's needs and essential oils are one of my favorite tools to use in my DIY dog-care arsenal.
Essential oils aren't just for humans!
Did you know that essential oils have many uses for your pets (dogs and horses) too? They can be used to help heal wounds, soothe hot spots, calm anxiety, support the immune system, and even repel fleas and ticks. I have used essential oils to calm a nervous dog during thunderstorms, ease my dog's motion sickness on road trips, and even to deodorize that classic dog-stink in the bath.
Designed with your 4-legged friends in mind
Knowing which oils are safe to use with your pets might seem a little overwhelming at first, that's why Plant Therapy designed their new Pup & Pony line. When they asked me if I would like to review their new pet line, I just about jumped for joy! My dogs both have their own unique needs and I was excited to test out the Man's Best Friend essential oil set on both of my dogs.
- Man's Best Friend Essential Oil Set – A 3-piece set of essential oil blends formulated especially for use with dogs and horses. This set includes:
- Confident K9 Essential Oil Blend – Formulated for dogs who struggle with being alone, Confident K9 essential oil blend can help calm frazzled nerves, anxiety, stress, and even behavioral issues ranging from excessive barking or shaking to chewing on belongings or clawing at your front door. The Boyfriend's Sheltie, Abbey, is a very overactive barker and can show signs of separation anxiety during the day. I diffused this blend throughout our living room during the day and noticed a massive difference in both of my dog's demeanors. Abbey was uncharacteristically calm while our neighbor's beagles were outside barking all day long.
- Happy Trails Essential Oil Blend – It's common for our 4-legged friends to have stomach distress every once in a while. Everything from motion sickness during travel to stress from schedule changes can cause an upset stomach. This blend was designed to help soothe upset tummies and calm frazzled nerves. Since he was a puppy, my dog Sirius has had issues with motion sickness in the car. Every trip we have taken, even down the street, has resulted in him puking all over the back seat. I used a drop of this blend in the Paw Pal Collar Diffuser and attached it to his collar before we left in the car to go hiking. I can't tell you how pleased I was to make it home with a puke-free car!
- Show Ready Essential Oil Blend – Created to help maintain health in dogs and horses, Show Ready essential oil blend helps to kill germs and stimulate the immune system during times of illness. Dogs and horses can become more susceptible to illness and disease during times of travel, stress, boarding for long periods, or exposure to unfamiliar animals. I used this blend in the diffuser to boost our entire family's immune system! I mixed 15 drops of this blend into my Branch Basics All-Purpose Cleaner for a great antibacterial kennel and crate cleaner!
- Paw Pal Collar Diffuser – This cute passive diffuser can be clipped to your dog's collar making diffusion on-the-go easy peasy! Add 1 drop of one of Plant Therapy's Pup & Pony blends or choose a single oil off of the dog safe list below! I love this adorable diffuser! It's versatile, can easily be clipped to any of your pet's collars, and will make your dog talk of the dog park!
- Paw Balm – This dog inspired salve was formulated to moisturize dry, damaged paws and offers paws protection from the elements.
A note on cats and essential oils
You might be asking yourself why cats are not included in this post. That's a good question! Cats are built differently than dogs, horses, and humans. Unlike dogs and humans, a cat's liver doesn't make a specific enzyme that helps us break down certain chemicals including the constituents that make up many essential oils. Because of this, certain chemical constituents build up in the cat's liver until toxicity is reached causing them to go into liver failure or worse. It's OK to diffuse essential oils in your home even if you have cats, as long as you make it easy for them to leave the room while diffusing or diffuse in a room the cats aren't currently in. They can safely return to the room after diffusion.
Essential oils safe for dogs and horses
There are many essential oils that are safe to use on and around your dogs and horses. If you want to utilize essential oil singles or create your own blends for your furry family members, you can safely choose essential oils from the list below. Remember, these essential oils are deemed safe for inhalation and topical use only. Do not add essential oils to your pet's food or water.
|carrot seed||cat nip||cedarwood|
Diluting essential oils for dogs and horses
It is crucial to DILUTE essential oils before using them topically on dogs and horses, to avoid any skin irritation. Essential oils should not be used on pregnant animals or animals under the age of 10 weeks. Avoid the use of essential oils around cats, fish, reptiles, birds, and rodents.
- 0.25-0.5% dilution for dogs weighing less than 25 lbs.
- 0.5-0.75% dilution for dogs weighing between 25 lbs. to 50 lbs.
- 0.75%-1% dilution for dogs weighing more than 50 lbs.
- 1%-2% dilution for horses
How to use essential oils with your pets
It is important to start slowly when using essential oils around animals. Introduce your dog or horse to them by diluting a small amount in a carrier oil, applying it to the palms of your hands, and presenting your hands to your dog/horse to see their reaction. You should not force your animal to use an essential oil they dislike. If your dog/horse likes the single oil or blend, then you can utilize the applications below! Essential oils should not be used on dogs/horses 10 months of age or younger, cats, fish, reptiles, amphibians, small animals, or birds.
|Diffuser||Add 1-2 drops essential oil per 100 mL of water to the diffuser.||Diffuse for 5-10 minutes every few hours.|
|Passive Diffuser||Dilute eo blend 1-2% in a carrier oil.||Add 1-2 drops diluted eo blend to the felt pad included with the Paw Pal diffuser, and clip the diffuser to your dog's collar or kennel.|
|Massage||Following the dilution chart above, based off of your dog's weight, combine essential oils in a carrier oil.||Massage diluted essential oils onto your dog's/horse's back of neck, chest, upper inner foreleg, and abdomen. Check out this graphic from Plant Therapy for more information.|
|Linen Spray||Combine 1.5 ounces water and 0.5 ounces everclear with 18-36 drops essential oil in a spray bottle. Top with the lid and gently shake to combine.||Spray your dog's bedding or horses linens and allow to dry before use. This can also be sprayed onto couch pillows, favorite snuggle pillows, and harnesses.|
|Cleaning Spray||Combine 15 drops essential oil, water, and soap in Branch Basics All-Purpose cleaner bottle.||Use the all-purpose spray to clean surfaces, kennels, crates, carpet stains, plastic/rubber toys, food/water bowls, and more!|
|Detangling Hair Spray||Combine 2 Tbsp. witch hazel, 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin, 1 Tbsp. jojoba oil, 2 Tbsp. aloe vera jelly, 36 drops essential oil, and filtered water, to fill, in a 4 ounce spray bottle.||Shake well before use and spray onto your pets hair/fur before grooming. Avoid spraying your pet's face and eyes.|
|Pet Bed Refresher||Combine 1 cup baking soda with 5 drops essential oil in am empty recycled spice jar. With the cap on, shake to combine.||Sprinkle powder onto pet bed and let sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming up.|
|Car A/C Diffuser||Add 1-2 drops essential oil to a tissue or cotton handkerchief.||Stuff the tissue loosely in a car A/C vent to diffuse throughout the car.|
|Shampoo Addition||Following the dilution chart above based on your pet's weight, combine essential oils and unscented shampoo (in place of carrier oil).||Shampoo your pet as usual, taking great care to rinse all the soap clean to prevent skin irritation.|